Can Kara achieve her dream? Can Richie help?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chapter 5

Kara spent the next afternoon trying to decide what to wear. Richie had said casual, but she didn’t want to be underdressed. She opted for her darkest dark wash jeans which she paired with the sweater Jen had given her for Christmas. It was a v-neck sweater the blue of the summer sky in the softest cashmere which she layered over a cream lace cami. She gave herself the once over in the mirror, turning this way and that, trying not to cringe at what she saw as flaws. With a sigh she flipped her hair over her shoulder, slicked on some lip gloss and decided she was ready. She was just zipping up her boots when the bell rang.

Richie stood on the other side of the door pondering his situation. It had been a hell of a long time since he had called on a girl. It made him feel about 16 again standing there waiting for her to answer the door. He had thought about Kara the day before, wondered where she had spent the holiday and with whom; wondered about her comment about LA mostly though. Maybe she is going to be out there too. He was abruptly brought out of his musings when Kara swung the door open.

The jeans hugged her in all the right places and the sweater was the color of her eyes. Richie couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Kara was doing a bit of ogling herself. He had shown up in dark jeans and a grey sweater which he topped with a black leather jacket. Kara recovered herself first, “hi Richie, come on in.” He followed her into the apartment, never taking his eyes from her ass. Damn she has a fine ass.

Kara picked up her coat and turned to Richie, “enjoying the view?” He had the grace to blush, “I ain’t gonna lie darlin’ I was most definitely enjoying the view.” Kara smiled, “at least you’re honest about it.” Richie helped her with her coat, even pulling her hair up and out of the back for her. Her hair was like silk in his hands and it stood in stark contrast to the winter white of her coat. She grabbed her purse and they headed out. “Where are we going?” Richie held the car door open as Kara got in. “Tuzzio’s. It’s a nice little Italian place in Long Branch.”

They chatted amicably and Kara was keenly aware of the man on her left. His cologne, a spicy woodsy combination, was more potent in the confines of the car. She watched him, the way he drove with one hand on the wheel, the other on the console between them, and she had the fleeting thought to reach out and rest her hand on his.

Glancing down she studied his hand, the long fingers were tapping, keeping time with the soft music that was playing. She half wondered what they would feel like on her skin. Stop it! She shook her head slightly, where had that come from? She turned her gaze away from his hand and sighed, it came from the fact that you haven’t been with a man in too long.

Richie glanced over at Kara, she seemed to be about a million miles away. Wonder what she’s thinking about. She really was a lovely girl, woman he corrected himself. His eyes ran over her again, pausing to linger on her mouth. He wondered what those cherry red lips would taste like.

Bringing his eyes back to the road he realized they had reached the restaurant. Pulling into a parking spot he turned off the car and waited. When she didn’t say anything he broke the silence, “Kara?” After a pregnant pause she looked over at him, “hmmm, what?” She had been so lost in thought that she had no idea where they were. Richie chuckled, “we’re here.” Kara looked out the window, realizing then that she hadn’t uttered a word for quite some time. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.”

Richie laid his hand over hers and gave a little squeeze, “its all right darlin’, must be some pretty serious thoughts though.” She squeezed his hand back before sliding hers out from under his and reaching for the door, “if you only knew” she muttered not as quietly as she had hoped. Richie grabbed her arm before she could get out of the car, “now I’m more than curious. What exactly were you thinking about?” Kara flushed to the roots of her hair, “you weren’t supposed to hear that.” Richie smiled teasingly, “well you shouldn’t have said it so loud. Are you going to tell me?” She smiled and shook her head, “nope, not right now anyway.”

They were seated in a quiet corner of the restaurant chatted as they made their dinner selections. Kara noted that Richie didn’t order wine with his meal, but then remembered that he had had a bit of trouble with the bottle. He noticed her slight hesitation when ordering, “Kara, if you would like a glass of wine, don’t let me stop you.” She looked over at him, “are you sure?” He nodded and winked at her, “go ahead, its fine.”

After the waiter left them, Richie reached across the table and took hold of Kara’s hand, “I have to ask” he started as he looked at her, “just how much do you know about me?” Kara held his gaze, “not as much as you probably think. You mother mentioned that you were having some trouble and then I read something about it in one of the papers. Honestly, if you want to talk about it that’s entirely up to you. If you don’t, that’s fine too. It’s none of my business anyway.”

Richie sat there, unsure of what to say. It had been a long time since he had come across someone who wasn’t a fan and didn’t know anything about him. “Kara, I have to say, you are like a breath of fresh air for me. It has been a long time since I have gone out with someone who didn’t think they knew me better than I did or who didn’t want something from me.” Kara squeezed his hand, “then I’d say you’ve been going out with the wrong women.”

Richie looked surprised at her statement and Kara held her breath as she waited for him to say something. Normally she wouldn’t have been so bold but she had seen something in his eyes, felt something that she hadn’t felt in a long time and decided to just say what she was thinking and see what happened. He finally smiled at her, “you know, I think you are probably right.”

Their dinners came and the conversation flowed easily between them. The restaurant was ready to close before they knew it and as they walked back toward the car, Richie sought out Kara’s hand and laced their fingers together making Kara smile. They approached the car, and Richie wasn’t ready to take Kara home yet. He turned Kara so she was leaning against the door, “care to take a walk?” Kara looked over his shoulder and then around, “where?”

Richie helped her into the car and as they drove he continued to hold her hand. They made their way back to Pt. Pleasant beach. He parked and they walked down the deserted boardwalk. They huddled together as they walked, his arm around her shoulders. They stopped and leaned against the rail, looking out at the deserted beach and watched the waves crash against the hard-packed sand.

Richie looked over a Kara, her cheeks were pink from the cold and her hair was slightly mussed from the breeze. “So Kara, how is it you don’t have a boyfriend or a husband?” She gave him a sad smile, “now there’s a story that needs a couch and a cup of coffee.” Richie raised his hand to her face and caressed her cheek, “is that an invitation darlin’?” She gave him a slight nod and he took her hand, “come on then, let’s go.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chapter 4

When Kara arrived at her friend Jen’s the next day, she was greeted by two little smiling happy faces. “Auntie K!” Kara knelt down, “Maddie-bear and Lizzie-girl! How are my two favorite girls?” Maddie and Lizzie were Jen’s daughters whom Kara loved as if they were her own. She spoiled them to no end and today would be no different. Kara had a shopping bag full of gifts for each girl. Jen came around the corner and shooed the girls away so Kara could get her coat off. “Hey sweetie, Merry Christmas!” Kara hung up her coat and was immediately caught in a hug. “Merry Christmas to you too Jen.”

The day was full of laughter and love, family and food, just as Christmas should be. It was early evening before Kara had a chance to tell Jen about the man she had met the night before. Most everyone had left when she found Jen in the kitchen. “What a day.” Jen smiled at Kara, “you can say that again. I’m glad Christmas only comes once a year.” Kara grabbed a towel and helped dry the dishes.

Jen looked at her friend, she knew something was up but wasn’t quite sure what. Kara had that look about her all day. “Something on your mind?” Kara put the pot away and turned to her friend. “How do you always know when I need to talk?” Jen smiled at her friend, “we’ve been friends long enough for me to be able to read you expressions. So, what is it?”

Kara twisted the towel in her hands, “I have a date tomorrow night.” Jen was surprised, “I didn’t know you were seeing anyone.” Kara dropped her gaze, “I’m not. I just met him last night.”

Jen didn’t know what to think, “wait a minute, you worked yesterday and then went to church last night. When did you have time to meet someone?” Kara twisted the towel again, “I met him at church.” Jen shook her head, “I think I need to hear the whole story.” She led Kara to the table and poured them each a glass of wine, “okay, spill it.”

Kara told Jen how she had been running late and the only available seat was next to this dark haired man. She filled her in on everything, ending with the phone call later that night. “So” Jen started, “does this mystery man have a name?”

Kara knew this was going to freak her friend out. Jen had been a fan of the band as long as Kara knew her. She looked at Jen, “promise you won’t freak out on me?” Jen curiosity was piqued, “Why would I freak out?" Kara didn't say anything she just kept looking at Jen. She gave in, "okay, okay, I won't freak out.” She couldn’t imagine why Kara would ask that but she went along with it.

“His name is Richie, Richie Sambora.”

Jen’s jaw nearly hit the table in shock. “You’re kidding and it’s not funny Kara.” Kara shook her head, “I’m not kidding. He’s taking me to dinner tomorrow night.”

Jen studied her friend, she had never known her to lie before and, taking in the look on Kara’s face, knew she wasn’t now. “Oh my God Kara. You have a date with Richie Sambora!” The girls talked for a while longer and when Kara was ready to go Jen hugged her. “Have a good time tomorrow night and call me. I want to hear all about it.” Kara laughed, “I expected nothing less.”

Kara sank into a warm bubble bath when she got home and thought about the man she was going to dinner with tomorrow night. She knew a little bit about him thanks to Jen and Joan, but found herself looking forward to seeing him. She hadn’t been out on a date in a while, hadn’t really wanted to. Her last relationship had ended in disaster and she didn’t care to have a repeat of it.

With a sigh she got out of the tub, slipped into her pajamas and searched her CD collection. She knew she had the one she was looking for, it was there thanks to Jen. “Ah, here it is” she said as her fingers found the Stranger in this Town CD. She slipped the CD in, crawled into bed and listened, really listened to it this time and wondered about the man behind the voice.